Can we talk about Thanksgiving and Black Friday and the fact that THE ONE NON-COMMERCIAL, NON-RUINED BY SOCIETY holiday we had left has now been high-jacked by the retail community and is no longer about friends, family, pausing to be grateful, and just enjoying each others company (and of course FOOTBALL) but just a day to quickly shovel in some sustenance before heading out to the stores to be trampled and perhaps killed for the latest and greatest in electronics?
Phew. I need to calm down. That first paragraph was one sentence, but I feel extremely strongly about this. Extremely is probably not strong enough of a word to describe how this pisses me off. I'm incensed. Furious. Disappointed in society. ANGRY. Sad. Melancholy for the “good old days”.
I'm in the mood to boycott any and all stores until spring. (Well, except my boys are growing like weeds and both need new wardrobes. If they stand still long enough, which they don't, they certainly SIT still long enough, but you can't really see someone growing when their quickly expanding feet are tucked under their legs or under a desk, and they're playing video games...but as I was saying before I interrupted myself – you can see them growing before your very eyes, much like aquaponic lettuce, but wow, I need to calm down because:
- This is starting to be a jumbled mess, and
- I was talking about Thanksgiving, not my boys...
Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year. We have a wonderful tradition of celebrating with a cousin on my mother-in-law's side and his entire family. I've know The Engineer's family for 29 Thanksgivings, and it's always been with those cousins. This makes for a table for around 20-25 depending on who has a date, or who is bringing a parent(s) from the other side of the family. Both hostesses love to set an ELABORATE table. I mean, Martha Stewart would take notes. Everyone brings a dish so the labor is divided, and you can always see the TV from the kitchen so you can football it all up and do dishes.
But now, it's all changing. Thanksgiving isn't about family and tradition and gratitude anymore. The ads for Black Friday (did you even know what that meant 7-8 years ago?) started weeks ago. There are pre-Black Friday specials. My mailbox, my inbox, my newspaper are STUFFED with ads.
Many of my friends work in retail and have to be at work as early as 2 pm to get ready for the pre-Black Friday early openings of so many major stores. 2 pm is about when we sit down for our meal. It's not right.
What are we doing people? We're slowly being convinced that being thankful, grateful, and focused on family isn't really that big of a deal. No, the big deal is to be had at the store. Get shopping! Buy something! No one has enough!
Thanks for listening this far. I'm thankful for you wonderful friends and the community we've built where we can discuss whatever we want. What do you think about this whole mess?
P.S Briane Pagel (you must read and follow him, truly) also wrote a piece about how Thanksgiving is disappearing, but for a different reason. (And his debunking of the Pilgrim story in quite a deliciously funny read). Go. Please.